Hayward family finds loaded gun, Santa Clara Co. sheriff’s badge in Tahoe vacation rental

Bay Area

HAYWARD (KRON) — A Hayward family went up to Tahoe for a fun weekend away, but within minutes of arriving at the rental property one of the kids found a loaded gun in a room filled with bunk beds.

The family is now just thankful the kids didn’t get hurt.

“That was just [in] a drawer in that room. It wasn’t hard to find. It wasn’t hidden under a bed. It was in a drawer right there,” said Jon Segarra. 

The trip to Tahoe turned into a nightmare after the discovery. 

Segarra and his family had just arrived and were unpacking the car, excited for a fun weekend away, when he says his son found the gun in the back bedroom.

The gun was loaded and sitting in a bedside table next to a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputy’s badge.

“Who’s is it? Are they coming back for it? Are we safe here? Is there anybody looking for it right now?” Segarra said. “Do we have to wait for someone to pull up in the middle of the night looking for their firearm? I think that’s kind of what freaked us out and we didn’t want to stay there anymore.”

They called the police who came and picked up the gun. 

Airbnb did not respond to KRON4’s request for comment.

Turnkey, the group that manages the property, told KRON4 this type of situation is unusual and that they take the safety and security of their guests very seriously.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve launched an internal investigation.

“The Sheriff’s Office was made aware of the incident Friday night.  We are working with the South Lake Tahoe Police Department to determine all of the facts and have already launched an internal investigation.  Most importantly, we are thankful no one was hurt as a result of this incident,” the department said.

They say the gun was not stolen and it was not a department issued gun but that it was the deputy’s personal gun.

Late Monday night, the sheriff’s office confirmed a deputy has been placed on administrative leave, pending the internal investigation.

They’re thankful no one was hurt, as is Segarra who says it could’ve been much worse.

“You know it’s a mistake but what I’m thinking is how do we leverage this as a learning experience now?” Segarra said. “You know how do we leverage this to educate more vacation goers and property management places to take more initiative to really clean these spaces especially when families are coming there?”

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